We Need To Lose

Off the top of your head, name a time in World of Warcraft where the players lost in the narrative sense. The Alliance didn’t lose anything with the bombing of Theramore, only Jaina did. Sure we felt sympathy over the incident but it didn’t defeat the faction in any sense of the word. How about the larger scales? Garrosh? Illidan? Deathwing? You can see where this is going. They all have grandiose agendas that we have to overcome and the thing is, we always do.

The idea behind this discussion is a result of me thinking about the upcoming Avengers movies. I’ve said all along if it’s a two-part story in any sense, then Thanos has to be victorious at the end of the first movie. I have a much deeper idea of how everything would play out, but that’s not relevant to this application of the idea. But I do agree with the idea itself: Azeroth has to lose once.

Realistically speaking, the idea of Azeroth losing isn’t so much the game is over. The game isn’t going anywhere. But the days of us overcoming anything that comes our way needs to have a serious hiccup. Characters like Thrall and Khadgar (either one at this point) need to lose. We need to live to see the bad guys come out victorious. To truly overcome adversity and defeat. It would make the story of the game even more enriched. Instead of dealing with threats as they develop, we have to rally and respond.

This certainly, though unintentionally, ties in with my thoughts earlier in the week about no longer needing factions in WoW. Whether they stay or go, this scenario is lost if it doesn’t result in the two sides working together to complete the comeback. You being the emissary in the quest to begin uniting the two for the fight could prove interesting. But I’m getting ahead of myself with this idea as the how isn’t important. What is important is we need to feel like we’ve been completely bettered. Like the players and characters gave it everything and came up short.

This could be as short as a patch or two, or actually be the beef of a complete expansion. I would prefer the latter to be honest. It just gives a better opportunity to tell the full story. You could have an expansion raid end with apparent victory for the players. However, with the launch of the last patch before a new expansion, you have a vignette showing things did not go entirely as we were lead to believe at the time and the subsequent fallout that creates. Heck, it could be as simple as the players following direction and doing exactly what we were supposed to do, but the whole while we’re being manipulated and mislead. Even if it was through misdirection, making it our fault is an even more powerful tool.

Going into an expansion oozing with insurmountable odds would be a scale we’re not used to. Instead of doing this or that to help the cause, you’re doing this or that just to survive. Imagine a town living or dying based on your decision on a quest that has options! The simplest things we take for granted could now be Holy Grail level goals as we slowly try to get Azeroth back on her feet and defeat said evil. But as we’ve already lost once we see the journey to not only win this time, but to figure out exactly how. And please don’t let Khadgar be anywhere near that solution. In fact, keep all the Mary Sues of Azeroth away. We’re sick of them and it should be someone else’s time in a situation like this. All the people of the kingdoms, not just the ones we’re supposed to bask alongside.

It’s like the song says, “I get knocked down but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” The problem is, we’ve never really been knocked down in World of Warcraft. We need to know what it feels like to have to get back up.

5 thoughts on “We Need To Lose

  1. Lord of Icecrown October 26, 2017 / 11:34 am

    Very interesting article, thank you for sharing 🙂

    I think Thrall already suffered a loss, after using powers to kill Garrosh, the Elements stopped answering to him. This may not seem much, but for someone who was once the most powerful shaman in Azeroth, this is quite the loss.

    But I agree with you. A new form is narrative would be nice, because it has mostly been: 1) big bad shows up and is super powerful and everything seems doomed 2) we team up/get new weapons/do quests and slowly chip his plan away 3) there is a big confrontation and we defeat him.

    [Warrior Campaign spoiler ahead] For example, I loved the idea of the beginning of the warriors’ order hall campaign. We storm the shore again attempting a last stand, and get killed. The Valkyr pick us up and take us to Odyn, which was very nice, but I guarantee that dying on that assault sure made me feel “they are too strong, I lost”.

    One of the things that didn’t sit very well with me on Legion, was how returning to the broken shore was so….easy.
    We tried to invade in the beginning, so the Legion’s forces weren’t still operating at full capacity and organization. Its just not believable that we would be able to return there later and simply be able to walk around killing demons here and there. It would have been awesome if they made something like a PVE battleground or a group scenario on the broken shore: a group of players versus swarms of demons.

    Also, we should have given the “Theramore Treatment” to the broken shore, prior to invading it the first time. Just carpet bomb the bloody demons, and send ground forces after. I think WoW faction leaders need an open war to learn more strategy :p

    Im going off topic, sorry xD
    I agree, we need a loss. Not a “main character death” kind of loss, a major loss that will affect everyone. That’s why the Old Gods theme is so interesting and promising, their greatest weapons are not “spamming minions until things die”; they twist and corrupt, turning friends into enemies. Imagine how it would be, going to investigate whatever people say will happen in Silithus, and seeing several territories falling under the control of the Old Gods. This is not entirely impossible, as for example the Blasted Lands have a mechanic that allows for like 3 versions of it to exist according to the player level.

    Im sorry about my long replies 🙂

    • JD Kenada October 26, 2017 / 11:48 am

      You need not apologize. Long posts means discussion and that’s something I’m always up for when I post topics like this. You covered it all very well.

      The Warrior quest sounds similar to the Stormheim chain that sends you to Helya. Losing that quest was a great feeling, and something like it on a grander scale would be fantastic.

      You definitely hit the nail on the head with the Broken Isles stuff.

      • Lord of Icecrown October 26, 2017 / 12:05 pm

        Exactly, the Helya questline made my characters feel so…small and powerless. And I loved it. If our characters are heroes, they need to learn to overcome loss.

        I liked your Marvel reference, and this is something I’ve talked about with some friends. Thanos is supposed to be one of the most powerful and ruthless and cunning beings in the universe, so I really hope the movies don’t resort to “lets all shoot our powers and lasers at him at the same time until he dies” xD
        I really think you’re right. He will win at the first movie. And I would go even further as to say: someone may die. Maybe not a fan favorite character that would cause fan riots, but someone important to make us go “Oh no… they are doomed”.

        And THAT is the feeling we need more one WoW.

        • JD Kenada October 26, 2017 / 12:22 pm

          There’s two characters I would consider killing off and pretty sure some fans would lose their minds. Core fans would understand if one was Cap though.

          That’s exactly the feeling we need. Though I don’t know if it’s one we’ll get any time soon. Other than very small scale instances such as we have discussed.

  2. AmerPriest October 26, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    I think I mentioned this on my other topic that in this Legion expansion I have seen main characters death starting from King Varian which was a great loss to Azeroth and I think the people in Azeroth and as a player needed to see that, so the new King can get sense that its not a total loss for them, but it will make them stronger to fight for what’s right…

    We know we seen bad guys fall and good guys always gets their happy endings like in movies. But I agree that the game isn’t over yet just because the main guys died in this expansion but there always a story to why right? and this what makes the game to continue… and it’s not going anywhere yet…

    In the Broken shore, I agree with Lord. I did noticed that there was no PvP battle concept in game there. Thought that there’s more to Broken shore than just finishing all the 15 chapters of quest line there but hoping to see more. Suramar on the other hand.. like it never ends, in terms of quest lines or other regions.

    I am not in the end to see the whole expansion yet because I just got back playing a month ago. and have not saw the end game content and I am sure I can learn more about it from the raiding dungeons (scenarios and whatnot), But yes I’m sure there’s more to it than just killing demons in this expansion or main characters died with purpose to the story.

    Anyway, I will be looking forward to what this expansion can offer, maybe patch after patch there’s new concepts or whatnot hope so, so that players won’t get bored too easily. Because so far they did pretty good job on this expansion that’s why I came back.

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